An update from Mr Brady...
I will start by hoping that everyone is staying well. We continue to be in awe of the response to this crisis and I once again thank those front line workers on behalf of everyone in the Dene Magna community for their continued heroic efforts.
As we move to the Easter break, the school will still be open for those children of key workers and we have notified them of our opening days. I do need to thank the staff who have continued to come into school to support these students and I must thank you again for your hard work in supporting your daughter/son in their home learning. Speaking as a parent, it is not easy, but I hope that like me, you have been glad of the routine that we have put in place.
We have been reflecting on our timetable after Easter and you will all be contacted (either via an update on the website or an email to your son/daughter) to let you have our amended timetable. Mr Mitchell and the team have been working hard on this to ensure that every student is having the same number of lessons in each subject. I was aware that changing the day did impact some students not having certain lessons. Sorry about that, but this new timetable will sort that out. The school day will run the same as it is now (same start and finish times), but you will notice that lessons may be on in different slots in the day. It will only be a one week timetable so that should keep things simple. I promise you that when you see it you will get it!
You may have seen the amazing face protectors that Mr May has been making in Tech. These have gone out to local health organisations to help keep our key workers safe and I thank him and all those involved in getting them ready. As do I thank Mrs Northcott and the team who have once again got food parcels ready for our students who are in receipt of free school meals. Collection slots have been allocated and staff, including myself, will be out delivering to those who could not make it later today. We will update you all as to our plans after Easter regarding free school meals.
This has been a strange time for all of us, but in particular our Year 11 students and their families. Mrs Balmer will be writing to you to outline the bridging units that staff are working on so that your daughter/son can continue their studies and prepare themselves for life in our sixth form from September. These will take time to bed in and I thank you in advance for your support in changing what have been pretty odd routines for these students!
You may have seen that the ICT team have opened up our helpdesk to include parents. Please use this to get the support you need at this time.
I do need to say how proud I have been of everyone in their response to this crisis. It makes me so proud to be part of Dene Magna and the Forest of Dean as we come together to help one another through this period of unrest.
As we go to the weekend and to a fortnight of no school, I do need to remind you to ensure that this does not lead to any of our students being seen out and about with their friends. If your son/daughter says they are exercising with friends then please do not allow them to go. I would hate for any member of the wider community to contract this virus, and worst would be if that came because someone did not follow the advice. Our welfare checks will remain over Easter and if you are concerned about how things are, please contact us and we will continue to help where we can.
Please continue to reassure your daughter/son of the actual facts during this crisis. The daily news can certainly overwhelm us all, so please be mindful of the effect this can have on children. This might be a great time for them to help out around the house or...yes, I will say, tidy their room!
I look forward to updating you next week and I continue to wish you all the very best.
Stay safe and stay positive